PHOTOCOPIER (PENYALIN CAHAYA)
(director/writer: Wregas Bhanuteja; screenwriter: Henricus Pria; cinematographer: Gunnar Nimpuno; editor: Ahmad Hasan Yuniardi; music: Yennu Ariendra; cast: Shenina Cinnamon (All Sur), Chicco Kurniawan (Amin), Dea Panendra (Anggun), Jerome Kurnia (Tariq), Giulio Parengkuan (Rama), Lutesha (Farah, Photographer), Mian Tiara (Bidan Siti), Rukman Rosadi (Dekan Fakultas), Landung Simatupang (Burhan), Lukman Sardi (Sur’s Father), Ruth Marini (Sur’s Mother); Runtime: 130; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Adi Ekatama, Ajish Dibyo: Netflix; 2021-Indonesia-in Indonesian with English subtitles)
“A satisfying thriller about sexual assault on a college campus in the corrupt Muslim country of Indonesia.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The directorial debut of Indonesia’s Wregas Bhanuteja is a satisfying thriller about sexual assault on a college campus in the corrupt Muslim country of Indonesia. It’s boldly written by Henricus Pria.
The shy Sur (Shenina Cinnamon), a college freshman on scholarship and a website designer for the esteemed drama troupe at the college called Mata Hari, that won the competition for its production of “Medusa” and was invited to compete in Kyoto. The middle-class Sur, whose mom (Ruth Marini) runs a diner, attends a party to honor the team on their victory, that’s thrown by the wealthy sculptor father of her playwright teammate Rama (Giulio Parengkuan).
She promises her bullying Muslim father (Lukman Sardi) not to drink alcohol at the party, and is accompanied there by her photocopier friend Amin (Chicco Kurniawan).
At the party Sur accepts drinks offered her by the leader of her troupe Anggun (Dea Panendra).
The next morning she was interviewed by members of the college scholarship board and was shown selfie pictures of her drinking alcohol at the party that were posted on her social media site. Though she denied taking those pictures, her scholarship was revoked for moral reasons and her father threw her out. Coming to the crushed Sur’s aid is her childhood friend Amin, as he promises to give her shelter in his seedy photocopier space and help her investigate the charges to prove her innocent. Sur has no idea how her pictures made it online.
Sur, not trusting anyone, anymore, and investigating on her own, finds through her techie skills the troupe had spiked her drinks and she further learns they regularly do this cruel thing to its newest members as an initiation ritual. To get away with it, they bribe an assortment of people such as drivers and photocopiers to help them with their sordid schemes.
After much melodrama, Sur locates all the victims of this corrupted troupe and unites the vics to take on their privileged class superiors who silenced them. The lower-class victim’s in the end come through in unity thanks to the efforts of Sur to get justice even if not helped by the authorities. It’s the kind of film that makes paranoia a good thing to have.
It made its world premiere at the 26th Busan International Film Festival in October 2021.
REVIEWED ON 1/25/2022 GRADE: B-